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Fans return may be boost for Ross County ahead of Celtic clash, says Michael Gardyne


By Andrew Henderson

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Ross County attacker Michael Gardyne says it will be nice to see fans return to the Global Energy Stadium this weekend.

Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness.
Ross County(2) v Kilmarnock(2). 12.08.20.
Ross County's Michael Gardyne.
Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness. Ross County(2) v Kilmarnock(2). 12.08.20. Ross County's Michael Gardyne.

The Staggies’ match against Celtic has been confirmed by the SPFL as one of two trial games for the return of fans to stadiums, with numbers limited to a maximum of 300 for the time being.

That is obviously a far cry from the capacity crowd that would normally welcome the Scottish champions to Dingwall, but after playing their opening six matches in empty grounds it could feel like a lot more.

While looking forward to seeing spectators return, Gardyne’s focus is exclusively on Celtic, and he reckons that this is one match the players will have no problems getting motivated for – crowd, or nor crowd.

“I think it will be nice,” the 34-year-old said.

“Obviously it has all been a bit weird playing without fans, so even if we only get 300 back in it will be nice for the players and the fans themselves. It could possibly give us a lift.

“For Celtic at home though, I don’t think you need much more of a lift than that.

“It’s maybe a positive that they won’t have fans back, but if you can’t get yourself up for playing Celtic at home then you shouldn’t really be playing football.”

Starting out wide, Gardyne is usually in close contact with the fans, but he was surprised at how simple adjusting to no fans was.

“It takes you back to the reserve days, which are a long time ago for me now,” Gardyne added.

“The difference is that it’s first team now, you’re playing against Celtic this weekend.

“You’re playing for points and livelihoods now, so it is different.

“Once the game starts, you kind of zone out and you’re in the game. It hasn’t affected me personally as much as I thought it would.”

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